By April M. Fecca
The faucet dripped - tap, tap, tap - counting out each
second they had sat in the cold, beige motel room since midnight. The sun was
beginning to break the sky, and she was shivering from the early morning cold,
but she wouldnt get under the blankets of the bed. Just sat on top of
them, not looking at him.
Im not going anywhere until you let me
He had long ago pulled on his big, charcoal sweater, the one
she had gleefully pulled off the first night they fucked, the second night they
met. He sat in the wood and vinyl chair, pulled up beside the bed. One arm was
crossed over his concave stomach; one thumbnail was in his mouth, between his
teeth. He had been looking at her so long that he could see the inverse of her
image etched inside his eyelids when he blinked. Just like she had been burned
into other parts of his body.
The air conditioner clicked, clicked, then kicked on. He let
it. If she got cold enough, maybe she would actually let him touch her
He had fallen in love the moment he unhooked her bra that
second night. She began to pull away right after the last moan.
Her gaze, so long focused on the sleeping television, was
pulled to the window that was hidden by big, heavy, red drapes. She listened
with her eyes to the staccato buzz of a panicked fly. It threw its body
repeatedly into the glass, hoping to pass through to the outside.
A month ago, he had noticed the pregnancy test stick in her
bathroom trash. Plus for positive. Now here he was in the ninth hour of trying
to get her to tell him what he already knew. They were just outside of
Cheyenne. They were on their way to Thanksgiving dinner.
The words had run out hours ago. Now there was the tapping,
the clicking, the whirring, the rush of wind from a passing big rig, the
grumble of her stomach.
He thought about her stomach and sniffed hard.
She had laughed so much the first night they met. Had
touched his hand, touched his arm, his shoulder, his hair. Had smiled directly
into his eyes. Had sounded so smooth, sweet, sly when he had called her three
He hadnt heard her laugh in three months.
He had heard her cry in her sleep the night before.
He pinched the bridge of his nose between his middle finger
and thumb. Je taime, he breathed, as if he was saying,
Another eternity passed.
He hadnt noticed the drawing away at first. He was
blind, stupid, happy in love. Infatuation. Obsession. Whatever. She accepted
him, accepted his gifts, accepted his cock. Happily. Seemingly.
Then her fingers grew cold. Touching him less and less. Her
eyes glazed over, the light inside dimming, her gaze receding inside. Her words
became less. Her silence grew huge, until he was trapped inside it.
Je taime, he had told her, reverting to
his native tongue in the vulnerable moment of admission.
She never said it back. In any language.
But the more she tried to shut him out, the harder he tried
to crawl inside.
Im cold, she finally said, and when he
looked up, she was looking back at him.
Not wasting any time or words, he got up from the chair,
climbed onto the bed, gathered her into his arms.
He held her, he held her, stroked her, touched her, felt her
damp breath on his neck. He kissed her eyelid, touched her cheek, let his
fingers slide down her neck and felt the pulse there, the blood inside of her,
where he wanted to be. His hand dropped down, brushed her breast, and through
the thin layer of her shirt, he felt her nipple. Hard. He grew dizzy. He
brought his hand back up to her breast and cradled it.
He looked down at her face. He kissed her mouth. For the
first time in two months, she didnt stop him. He slid his hand down her
stomach, between her thighs.
She unbuttoned her shirt to him. He slid his hand inside. A
small gasp from her mouth as his palm moved over her naked breast. Her fingers
in his hair as he put his mouth to her nipple. A moan.
He was pulling her hand down to touch him when she said,
Wait. I want to open myself to you.
She rose from the bed and dug through her duffle bag that
sat on the luggage rack beside the bed. He smiled at the shape of her backside.
He assumed she was getting a condom.
Until he realized they didnt need them anymore.
Then the sharp motion with both her arms, and the grunt.
Then the downward pull.
Then the turn, and the shine off the crimsoned scissors as
she held her arms akimbo.
The flowing, red slit.
When he woke, he headed straight out into the sun. Squinted.